When You Don’t Feel Like Preaching

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Let’s face it, if you are a pastor who preaches on a regular basis, you are going to wake up on a Sunday morning and not feel like preaching. In fact, you will have a Sunday morning, maybe multiple Sundays throughout your life, where preaching is the last thing you want to do.

I remember once getting a text from a pastor on a Saturday night asking me if I’d preach for him the next morning. I asked him if everything was okay as I thought some horrible tragedy had happened for him to send this kind of text. His response was, “Everything’s fine. I just don’t feel like preaching tomorrow.”

Now, pastors, let’s be honest for a moment. There are weeks you don’t feel like preaching. There are weeks you don’t feel like going to meetings, counseling someone or walking with someone through a hard time. Yet, it is part of your job.

So, if you are heading into this week or next week or next month and you don’t feel like preaching, here are some things you can do:

  1. Get a good night sleep Saturday night. Most people don’t sleep well before a presentation. Saturday night for pastors can be very intense and difficult. Get to bed at a decent time. Don’t eat dessert that night. Don’t watch some violent, exciting movie. Get a good night sleep.
  2. Eat a good breakfast. Eat something with protein. This will help to give you energy to last the morning so you won’t get hungry right before you preach.
  3. Exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly, you should. Pastors are notorious for being in bad shape, which does not help them in their jobs as their energy levels get low and doesn’t allow them have longevity in ministry.  
  4. Listen to worship music. Every week when I get ready to preach I listen to a regular diet of worship music. I listen a lot to the worship set we’ll play on Sunday morning to line my message up to the messages of the songs we’ve chosen.
  5. Talk to a trusted friend. If you are struggling with a situation, talk to a friend. When I have a hard week, a hard meeting or something that distracts me in sermon prep or preparing my heart for Sunday morning, I write about it. Writing it down has a cleansing effect on me and I’m able to let go of it.
  6. Pray. Spend time in prayer. You should do this anyway, but if you don’t, start. Pray for those who God will send on Sunday morning. Ask him to break your heart for the things that are weighing them down. Ask God for a heart that can feel the pain they carry, the weights that they are dragging around. To feel the bondage they feel. Preaching is a spiritual battle and pastor’s need to sense what those attending their church are dealing with.
  7. Visual yourself preaching. Visualization is a huge part of sports and more pastors need to spend time each week visualizing Sunday morning, preaching, what it will feel like, etc. This helps me to know where to look when in a sermon, the feel of the room, etc.
  8. Remember the result of preaching has little to do with you. At the end of it all, remember that the results of preaching have very little to do with you. God uses all kinds of people to reach people. While you should hone your craft, prepare as best you can, in the end, God handles the results. Give it up to him and preach with everything you have.

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